The M11x has been claimed by Alienware to be the most powerful 11inch laptop. The worst thing about bold claims is that they are usually nothing more than a marketing spin. They make promises that are not kept however the M11x is an exception. There claims are true, it is fantastic.
In terms of design, I rather like the Alienware look. Though, The M11x is the least aggressive looking when compaired to its bigger brothers, the M15x and M17x, it is still a serious looking little thing. It looks awesome in whatever colour option you choose; although Stealth Black gets my vote.
Alienware laptops have always had this incredible, yet somewhat corny feature whereby, through the use of LEDs, you are able to change the colours of the keyboard, Alien symbol, front lights and various other components. There are more LED’s on this M11x than in the National Theatre! All of the theatrical LED’s are controlled by a program called, ‘The Command Centre’ which is exclusive to Alienware. The ‘Command Centre’ allows you to create these colour schemes, from pulsating to colour changing to constant colours. It is like any Durbanite’s wet dream (South African joke).
Here’s the kicker, the M11x isnt just all show, it has some performance to boot. You get the choice of i5 or i7 processors, 2 to 8 GBs of RAM, 7200rpm Sata II or a Solid State hard drive and a billion others options. The graphics card is the GT335M Geforce 1024MB and although it is not the best by any means it still does the job.
There is a common flaw to plague all high performace laptops, a battery life of 30 seconds. Amazingly, Alienware has managed to get a solid 4 to 8 hours of battery life out of this thing! On a serious note, it has to do with a smart hard drive controller which puts the drive to sleep when not in use and wakes it up when needed, this is coupled to the i5 or i7 Intel processor which uses only the cores it needs, and finally the graphics card only employs the power it needs. All this tech allows the M11x to achieve such awesome battery life.
The casing is made from a combination of plastic and metals, this gives it a very high quality feel – which is to be expected for the price. The build quality is superb and due to its size it is functional in a million different forms. For instance if you are in a lecture and you get bored of taking notes just exit Word, whip out your Alienware mouse and play a game of Starcraft 2. Then straight afterwards watch a movie through maths. By now you should still have about 4 hours of battery life left… more than enough to fail at least two more courses.
Two last things which I feel are important to mention. The keyboard is superb, with great feedback and awesome “alien” details on the keys and the resolution (1366×768) is perfect for an 11-inch screen.
All this quality and awesomeness does not come cheap. In South Africa you can pay from R15 000 for the baseline model, to anywhere around R25000.00 if you go for the full spec.
However, what you are buying is a superb gaming brand. Now they have Dell behind them, which is a huge peace of mind because if it does give any trouble it has the weight of corporation behind it, although this can be to its disadvantage.
The M11x may not be the first choice for hard-core gamers as the screen is small and it is not the best performing laptop on the planet, but it’s not designed for them. The M11x is for the casual gamer who needs a general use laptop that is easy to transport yet can play all the latest games. For that market it is a laptop without compromise – amazing what money can buy.
The M11x sets the benchmark to all tiny laptop producers and it sets it extremely high at that. It is so awesome that even I couldn’t resist getting myself one, even if it does cost me an arm or leg. Preferably the leg as if I’m going to be stuck seated I would love to do it in front of the M11x.